This article is from the The Osbourne FAQ, by Mike L. with numerous contributions by others.
After leaving Sabbath and in need of a new manager, Don Arden was hired.
Sharon met when Ozzy walked into Don's office wearing a tap faucet around
neck and sat on the floor - refusing to use a chair. Sharon was terrified
of Ozzy upon first sight. She even tried to get another woman working in
the office to bring him a cup of tea, rather than bring it to him herself.
The two of them would get to know one another quite well over the years as
Don and the Sab four conducted business.
Money and fame were no longer problems for the four of them, instead the
only challenge was how to come up with another best selling album. A very
audible change in the bands musical direction began to show in their 1974
album, "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". Despite the title, the album contains deep
lyrics with many different musical arrangements. The songs seemed more
uplifting and vibrant than their previous dark, gloomy sounding material and
a more energetic sound. Electronic instruments also changed the way they
were able to record songs. This album, probably their best album with Ozzy
as vocalist, placed 4th and 11th respectively in UK and American charts.
"Technical Ecstasy" was released in 1976. This album was
considerably less heavy then previous albums, and perhaps was due to the
band just being fed up with it all. They had succeeded in making a lot of
money, owned as many cars as we own socks, and were getting burned out from
constant touring. T.E. would contain a song titled, "It's Alright"
featuring Bill the drummer on vocals, a very gentle song. The album cover
also set the stage for something entirely new from the band. No more dark
images, this artistic cover showed two robots having sex (or so it has been
said). Sadly, Technical Ecstasy did not sell very well.
The late 1970's also saw some deep trouble for the band. On January 20,1978
Ozzy's father passed away. Here is a small portion of an interview with Ozzy
regarding his father:
"In England, they don't tell you, y'know. What they did to my father
was, he hadn't eaten a fucking thing because of his -- whatever the
fucking tube -- he had a lump here like a fucking black ball, in his
sagophagus or whatever the fuck it is; he couldn't eat any food. Plus
the fact that he had cancer of the fucking intestines, the bowels, so
he couldn't shit. He never ate a thing for thirteen weeks.
They operated on him about a fucking week before he died. They took
the whole tube out and put a plastic one in. I don't know what it's
like in the states, but in England...they put him in a fucking closet
with the fucking mops and buckets, because he was on the death ward
and it was too distressing for the rest of the patients so they put
him in a cot, sort of a crib thing, a giant crib. They strapped
him...like a boxer, fucking bandages on his hands, with a glucose drip
going into his arm. He was stoned out of his head. You know, the most
amazing thing he said to me. I told my father one day, "I take
drugs. I said to him, "Before you go, will you take drugs?"
He says, "I promise you I'll take drugs." He was on Morphine. Totally
out of his mind on Morphine, because the pain must have been
horrendous. They had the operation on a Tuesday, and he died on
Thursday...No one could understand what he was talking about, because
he was so out of it. He says to me -- he only understands drugs as
"speed" -- he says, [whispers, a drawn-out, rattling imitation]
"ssspeeeeed." And he died in my arms.
I haven't got over it yet. The twentieth of January, I'll go freaking
like a werewolf. I'll cry and I'll laugh all day long, because it's
the day my daughter was born and the day my father died. Like a
When they go, they're out of their misery. But what freaked me out
more than anything else was the funeral. I was singing fucking
"Paranoid" in the church...Seconal, drunk... it blew me away. All the
family came that I'd never seen for fucking years, and they were
making comments. In England, it's a weird scene at a fucking death. My
father hated his brother Harold -- my whole family's fucking nuts."
This took a toll on Ozzy and he decided to quit Black Sabbath. Ozzy's
father, Jack, who thought his son would either end up in prison or end
up being someone very special, died knowing his son had made something
out of himself. While on his leave of absence, Ozzy asked Glenn Hughes
(another vocalist who would eventually spend some time in Sabbath)
about the two of them forming a band. Oz was fed up with Sabbath by
this time, though he kept his feelings about this to himself. Glenn
did not join Ozzy in his desire. Meanwhile the band had to continue
work on its upcoming album, "Never Say Die".
NEVER SAY DIE
They took in Dave Walker (who used to be with Fleetwood Mac) to write new
material for their album. Ozzy decided he wanted to rejoin the band, but he
refused to sing any of the songs written with Dave Walker. So Dave left and
the band had to rewrite all of their songs. Tony booked a studio in Toronto,
Ontario because it was where the Rolling Stones had recorded one of their
The band traveled up there in the middle of winter to record the album.
Ozzy has since said it was a stupid thing to do and that it was freezing up
there. Tony was just trying to keep the band together in a time of turmoil.
Ozzy had this to say on the album:
"The fucking studio's a pile of shit, the fucking -- we had two songs half-
written before we'd gotten into the studio. The reason we'd gone to Canada
was because of the tax-exile thing, because the taxes are so high in
England. In the end, it cost us nearly 500 fucking thousand dollars to make
that album, and it was the biggest pile of horseshit that I've ever made in
my life. I'm embarrassed with that album."
There is one song titled "Junior's Eyes" which is available on the
"Archangel Rides Again" bootleg, featuring Sabbath with Dave Walker on
vocals. Junior's Eyes was kept for the final album with the same music but
Ozzy rewrote the lyrics in a way as to say goodbye to his father.
Junior's eyes looked up to the skies in tears
He prayed that his maker, the giver and taker, would `pear
Junior sighed, as his hands reached out to the sky
Junior cried, the day that his best friend died
You're coming home again tomorrow
I'm sorry it won't be for long
With all the pain I've watched you live within
I'll try my hardest not to cry
But it is time to say goodbye
Junior's eyes, they couldn't disguise the pain
His father was leaving, and Junior is grieving again
Innocent eyes watched the man who had gave everything
Junior's sorrow, who knew what tomorrow would bring?
Junior's eyes looked into the skies once more
Now he knew well, this life was hell for sure
He desperately tried, his fingertips stretched to the stars, yeah
Reaching for reason, along with the time and the stars